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What I found about old Russian school telescopes.

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#1 Petsyk Alexey

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Posted 13 January 2023 - 12:53 AM

I thank the site administration for approving the possibility of publishing articles and the Aurora moderator for assisting in obtaining permission. )))
I do not know English at all, so I completely rely on the capabilities of Google translator. )))
So, let's begin...

 

In the USSR, very few models of school amateur telescopes were produced. The number of models cannot be compared with what was produced, for example, in the USA or Japan. Therefore, I collected various modifications of telescopes in order to trace the development of technical solutions. Although it is difficult to call it development, since it was not technical improvement that was carried out, but simplification and reduction in the cost of production.
And the article describes this process in detail.
The simplest school telescope produced in the USSR in 1956-1991 was the Small School Refractor. This is a 60\600 achromat on an azimuthal mount, equipped with two eyepieces 10mm and 20mm, with a non-standard diameter of 26.5mm. There was no antireflection coating on the optics. In total, 7 modifications of this telescope were made, which are described in my article. Additional photos are hidden under spoilers.

 

https://star-hunter.ru/rtm-60/

 

This article is almost completely translated into English by the owner of the site - translation of some later additions is missing.

 

https://star-hunter.ru/en/rtm-60/


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#2 Petsyk Alexey

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Posted 13 January 2023 - 01:07 AM

The second school telescope produced in the USSR was the Large School Refractor. This is an 80/800 achromat with a German-style equatorial mount, produced since 1956. I don't know the end date of production. It was completed with three eyepieces 10mm, 20mm and 28mm, also not a standard landing diameter. In total, 7 modifications of the telescope were produced and the eighth was developed, but its production was never started.

 

The article describes in detail all the modifications, with the exception of the fourth, which I have not yet been able to find.

 

Photos are also partially hidden under spoilers. Unfortunately, there is no English translation of the article.

 

https://star-hunter.ru/rt-80/


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#3 Petsyk Alexey

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Posted 13 January 2023 - 01:55 AM

The fourth school telescope produced in the USSR before the Second World War was the ASHR-1 Astronomical School Refractor. I could not find any information about this telescope (except for an old photo), including I made a request to the LOMO museum, which was formed, among other things, on the basis of the plant that produced ASHR-1. And they were unable to provide information.

 

And the history of buying a telescope is similar to the story of buying a MERZ refractor, posted in this topic in the summer of 2022. By the way, the pipes of this Merz and ASHR-1 are very similar in design. I also accidentally found an advertisement for the sale of a telescope on the Internet. When I bought it, I did not know what kind of telescope it was, assuming it could be a Zeiss or Unitron instrument. But it turned out that it was made at the State Optical and Mechanical Plant in Leningrad in 1938. I have no data on how many telescopes were produced, the serial number of my telescope is "00003". The article describes in detail the design of this telescope

 

https://star-hunter.ru/ashr-1/

 

It should be noted that the developer of this telescope was the future chief designer of the Large Azimuth Telescope, 6 meters in diameter - Bagrat Konstantinovich Ioannisiani.


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#4 Petsyk Alexey

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Posted 13 January 2023 - 04:22 AM

Here is a collection of Maksutovs, but not all of them fit on the shelf. )))

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Edited by Petsyk Alexey, 13 January 2023 - 06:46 AM.

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#5 mdowns

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Posted 13 January 2023 - 07:51 AM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights Petsyk Alexey and wow,what a wonderful resource of scopes and history many of us would otherwise,know nothing about.The information you've written and the links you've shared here are terrific,well done!


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#6 Petsyk Alexey

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Posted 14 January 2023 - 02:02 AM

A few years ago, I accidentally bought an old school refractor made in the USSR. It was a 60/600 achromat on a simple Azimuth mount and a wooden tripod. With this purchase, my passion for collecting USSR school telescopes began.

 

When I had a fair amount of them, I decided to write articles about what they were like and how their design and technical solutions were changed. I actually had to start all the work from scratch, since I could not find any research papers on this topic. As it was not possible to find eyewitnesses and participants in the development of these telescopes - too much time has passed since then.

A brief description of telescopes and links to articles were posted by me on the forum
https://www.cloudyni...-finds/page-112

 

At the suggestion of the moderator and forum participants, it is better to separate the studies of old school telescopes of the USSR into a separate thread of the forum so that the information is not lost. Perhaps it will be of interest to many forum members. To do this, I open a new forum topic, after which the moderator will transfer my early messages here.


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#7 Petsyk Alexey

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Posted 14 January 2023 - 03:56 AM

Yesterday the collection was replenished with one more telescope. This is the Cassegrain meniscus 70\890, f\12.5. Producer LOMO. This is a fairly rare model, almost never found on sale. Perhaps most of the production was exported. This is also evidenced by a certificate in English.

 

It comes standard with three Plossl eyepieces 25mm, 10mm and 6.5mm, although only 25mm is indicated in the instructions. Also included is a 45-degree anti-aircraft prism, a metal cap on the lens (screwed onto the thread) and a light-protective hood. Packed in a special package

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#8 Dave Trott

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Posted 14 January 2023 - 11:46 AM

I have always found Russian telescopes to be fascinating and have owned several over the years. I made a video that shows one of the 60mm School Telescopes here:

 

https://youtu.be/tWUu5Vrtekk?t=414

 

Unfortunately I did not know much about the scope when I shot the video.

 

I recently purchased a couple of the Maksutov School Telescopes and will be making a video about them. The information on your website will be most helpful!

 

Small.jpg


Edited by Dave Trott, 14 January 2023 - 11:47 AM.

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#9 Petsyk Alexey

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Posted 14 January 2023 - 12:29 PM

Apparently there was some kind of failure on the forum and one of my messages was not transferred to this thread. And in it, I was just talking about the Maksutov School Meniscus Telescope, which was produced in the USSR in 1945-1947 (Novosibirsk) and in 1956-1964 (Leningrad). And he gave a link to an article about these telescopes. I'm duplicating it here.

 

https://star-hunter....tov-telescopes/

 

I watch your videos Dave, but not knowing the language I understand little, but it's interesting to look at telescopes))). Thank you for your work.



#10 Petsyk Alexey

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Posted 14 January 2023 - 12:34 PM

The small school refractor in your video is a telescope of the third modification.



#11 NinePlanets

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Posted 14 January 2023 - 01:01 PM

Google Translate does an excellent job, Petsyk Alexey! All of these posts are 100% understandable.

 

And thank you very much for posting these articles. This is information I have never seen.


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#12 Dave Trott

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Posted 14 January 2023 - 01:22 PM

Thanks, Alexey! Glad you can enjoy my video even if you do not understand English.



#13 Petsyk Alexey

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Posted 14 January 2023 - 01:23 PM

Thank you! I'm glad you liked the articles. )))



#14 Petsyk Alexey

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Posted 15 January 2023 - 01:10 AM

Not all optical devices from my collection were described in my articles and today I want to talk a little about the ZRT-454 spyglass.

 

The pipe is very rare and almost never found on sale. Its price can reach up to 700-1000 US dollars (in terms of the exchange rate). Information about it is practically absent in open sources. I wrote a letter to the factory that produced it, but they could not provide any information about it and its production, they did not even find instructions from it. Perhaps they were just too lazy to go to the archive.
The device was produced at the Kazan Optical and Mechanical Plant in the 70s of the twentieth century. The exact period of production and the number of issued copies is unknown. Most likely, the device was not available for retail sale and was delivered to shooting galleries and military units, to landfills.

 

The optical scheme of the tube is shown in the figure. Designations: 1 - meniscus, 2 - primary mirror, 3 - secondary mirror, 4 - reversing and corrective system, 5 - eyepiece.

 

The tube is a mirror-lens meniscus system with a lens inverting system. D=130mm; F=1000mm; G=25x; 50x; 80x; (100x), change of magnification is carried out by connecting three eyepieces mounted on the turret in series. Magnification of 25x is achieved with a Kellner eyepiece, the remaining magnifications are achieved with wide-angle eyepieces with a removed pupil. A feature of the pipe is the use of Mangin mirrors with an internal coating. Such a mirror is a combination of a mirror and a negative lens. The secondary mirror covers only 4% of the area of the entrance pupil. The tube is very compact, mounted on an azimuthal fork. Available with cast table stand or field tripod. Movements along the axes are carried out using gear (azimuth) and worm (height) gears. The ocular head is moved with the help of a rack. The eyepieces have a diopter. The system has a high resolution and gives a direct image of the object.

 

For astronomy, this telescope is of little use - the short feathers of the fork will not allow it to be aimed at an object located high above the horizon. I could not remove the pipe from the plug, perhaps a one-piece connection is used there and I was afraid to break something.

 

During shipment, the pipe was slightly damaged and the alignment was knocked down. For repair and adjustment, I had to disassemble it, and I was surprised to find that the adjusting screws at the meniscus and the main mirror were not provided for by the design. Optics in frames are simply screwed into the pipe along the thread.

 

In general, this is a rather interesting device with a very unusual optical design. I don't know if something similar was produced somewhere else in the world.

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Edited by Petsyk Alexey, 15 January 2023 - 01:15 AM.

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#15 Dave Trott

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Posted 15 January 2023 - 10:01 PM

WOW!! That is a very unusual telescope! Wonderful!

 

Thanks for posting that, Alexey!

 

LOMO made a Gregorian Maksutov that was similar but without the complicated optics in the rear. It was a little 10x30mm hand held monocular. It had the positive meniscus, like this one. Here is a picture of one I used to own.

 

IMG_6082 (800x618).jpg

 

 


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#16 Dave Trott

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Posted 15 January 2023 - 10:04 PM

The LOMO Astele Captain, 14x40 maksutov-gregorian spotting scope also had a positive meniscus.

 

IMG_6077 (800x800).jpg

 

Here's a video review that includes these scopes:

 

https://youtu.be/_QwoynInYGM


Edited by Dave Trott, 15 January 2023 - 10:08 PM.

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#17 Dave Trott

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Posted 15 January 2023 - 10:16 PM

I really like the eye-popping design of the ZRT-454. It looks like it is from another planet or maybe some science fiction movie in the 1950's.


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#18 Petsyk Alexey

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 12:46 AM

Yes, the design of ZRT 454 is very unusual. As well as the optical design. I have not come across anything similar.

 

I saw your review of LOMO telescopes. LOMO produced not only the Little mak 10x30, but also the Hummingbird 8x30 spotting scope. It is also present in my collection. I believe that it was produced earlier than the Little mak 10x30.

 

I haven't been able to find Captain's spyglasses yet. For a long time I was offered to buy them, but then I refused, which I now regret. But I do not lose hope of finding them. )))

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#19 Terra Nova

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 04:06 PM

Yesterday the collection was replenished with one more telescope. This is the Cassegrain meniscus 70\890, f\12.5. Producer LOMO. This is a fairly rare model, almost never found on sale. Perhaps most of the production was exported. This is also evidenced by a certificate in English.

 

It comes standard with three Plossl eyepieces 25mm, 10mm and 6.5mm, although only 25mm is indicated in the instructions. Also included is a 45-degree anti-aircraft prism, a metal cap on the lens (screwed onto the thread) and a light-protective hood. Packed in a special package

I had one of those some years ago, the one (70mm) with the blue and white star map on the tube. I gave it to my daughter and she use it all the time. She likes to take it camping on a small photo tripod. They’re nice little scopes. I also had the bigger 90 mm with the black tube.


Edited by Terra Nova, 16 January 2023 - 04:08 PM.

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#20 Bowlerhat

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Posted 21 January 2023 - 12:17 AM

Here is a collection of Maksutovs, but not all of them fit on the shelf. )))

Whowhee!! Welcome to the forum and very cool collection!! are these all USSR's?

 

I only have a lomo 30mm, very nice monocular. The one I got was from the last run from 2000. The bult quality is very nice.

24
Album: Lomo little mak
2 images
0 comments

 

What are those that looks like small refractors? 

Maybe if possible, can you upload more photos as albums? Or a list? there are very little info in these maks, it's very nice reading about them.


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#21 Petsyk Alexey

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Posted 21 January 2023 - 12:56 AM

American amateur astronomers are familiar with telescopes manufactured at the Novosibirsk Instrument-Making Plant under the TAL brand. In particular, the Newtonian reflector with a diameter of 65 mm called "Alcor". But, I think, few people know that in the 90s of the last century, a similar reflector called "Kronos ZT-65" was produced at the Zagorsk Optical and Mechanical Plant. This telescope is in my collection and I want to tell you about it.

 

This is a Newtonian reflector, made in November 1996. Mounted on an alt-azimuth mount. Has instructions in Russian and English.
Lens Diameter: 65mm
Relative aperture: 1:7.7
Lens Focal Length: 502mm
Magnification: 38.6x, 80x, 127.5x, and the change of magnifications is achieved by screwing in front of the eyepiece (namely, screwing, along the thread) of one or the second Barlow lens. The design of the Barlow lens surprised me very much - the diameter of the hole is well 6-8 millimeters. And this is with a giant (compared to Alkor) central shielding (the minor axis of the secondary mirror is 30 mm) - where does the light beam go? It appears that only the axial rays pass into the eyepiece. The main eyepiece has a field aperture of 15 millimeters. The optics have an anti-reflective coating.

 

The telescope is taller than Alcor, but the stand is thinner, so if you push it, damped oscillations occur and last quite a long time - Alcor did not allow himself this.

 

The focuser moves very softly and smoothly, the eyepiece is screwed into it along the thread, that is, it is not standard and eyepieces from other 1.25" telescopes will not fit Kronos.
There is no seeker, or even diopters, on the telescope tube. It is not convenient to aim, because it is not even possible to look along the pipe - in the middle there is a ring with which the pipe is attached to the mount. The mount is similar to the Alcor mount, the fine action screws work very smoothly.
The weight of the telescope is about 11 kg. And the box weighs about 5 kilograms probably.

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#22 Petsyk Alexey

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Posted 21 January 2023 - 12:59 AM

photo

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Edited by Petsyk Alexey, 21 January 2023 - 01:15 AM.

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#23 Petsyk Alexey

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Posted 21 January 2023 - 01:01 AM

photo1

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Edited by Petsyk Alexey, 21 January 2023 - 01:14 AM.

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#24 Petsyk Alexey

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Posted 21 January 2023 - 01:13 AM

Whowhee!! Welcome to the forum and very cool collection!! are these all USSR's?

 

I only have a lomo 30mm, very nice monocular. The one I got was from the last run from 2000. The bult quality is very nice.

 


What are those that looks like small refractors?

Maybe if possible, can you upload more photos as albums? Or a list? there are very little info in these maks, it's very nice reading about them..

Yes, almost all telescopes on the shelf are made in the USSR or Russia, except for one, which was made in the city of Izyum, in Ukraine.

 

Regarding the refractors on the shelf, these are 80mm, 20x, 40x, a refractor manufactured by LOMO and a 52mm 90x refractor TZT-90, manufactured at the Izyum Instrument-Making Plant, in Ukraine, and a TURIST-3 spotting scope, 50mm, 20x. Later I will write more detailed posts about them and take a photo.

 

And I have a whole article about the Maksutovs. The link to it is given in message number 9 in this thread. There are many photos.


Edited by Petsyk Alexey, 21 January 2023 - 07:11 AM.

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#25 Dave Trott

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Posted 21 January 2023 - 10:42 AM

This scope is quite similer to the Tal Alcor shown in these videos:

 

https://youtu.be/icsP2EmGcxI

 

https://youtu.be/KUo9VFTECU8

 

This is an extremely overbuilt telescope!!


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